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Full text of "The Letters Of Horace Walpole Vol I"

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as being here five months out of place, to the congresses * of a fortnight in place; but you know the Justum et tenacem yrvpositi virum can amuse himself without the Civiuni ardor! As I have not so much dignity of character to fill up my time, I could like a little more company. With all this leisure, you may imagine that I might as well be writing an ode or so upon the victory; but as I cannot build upon the Laureat's place till I know whether Lord Carteret or Mr. Pelham will carry the Treasury, I have bounded my compliments to a slender collection of quotations against I should have any occasion for them. Here are some fine lines from Lord Halifax's5 poem on the battle of the Boyne—
The King leads on, the King does all inflame, The King;—and carries millions in the name.
Then follows a simile about a deluge, which you may imagine ; but the next lines are very good :
So on the foe the firm battalions prest, And he, like the tenth wave, drove on the rest. Merce, gallant, young, he shot through ev'ry place, "Urging their flight, and hurrying on the chase, He hung upon their rear, or lighten'd in their face.
The next are a magnificent compliment, and, as far as verse goes, to be sure very applicable.
* Sir Bobert Walpole, when in office,' had usually two annual meetings at Houghton. The one in the spring, to which were invited only the most select friends, and the leading members of the Cabinet, continued ahout three weeks. The second was in autumn, towards the commencement of the shooting season. It continued six weeks or two months, and was called the congress. At this time Houghton was filled with company from, all parts. He
kept a public table, to which all gentlemen in the county found a ready admission. The expenses of these meetings have been computed at £8,000 a year.' (Coxe, Life of Sir R. Walpole, ed. 1816, voL iv. p. 870.)
6 Charles Montagu (1661-1715), first Earl of Halifax of the second creation, the patron of Addison, Congreve, and Prior. He is referred to by Pope as 'full-blown Bufo.1 (Epistle to Dr.Arbuthnot, I. 231).